Flu and the holidays: Natural remedies and prevention
The holiday season is a time that brings joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, it also overlaps with the flu season, which can understandably put a damper on your holiday spirit and festivities. But worry not, there are practical steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from this irritating illness, which is often mild but can lead to serious consequences at times.
Influenza, commonly called as the flu, is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can cause symptoms that are mild or severe, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. Flu is easily transmitted from person to person through the tiny droplets that are released by a person with flu when they cough, sneeze, or talk . During the holiday season, there is a high risk of flu transmission because people tend to travel and party a lot during these months.
You most probably won’t need to see a doctor if you’re down with flu and it will resolve on its own. Although most of the symptoms go away naturally within 4 to 7 days , they can make you feel uncomfortable while they last.
However, you don’t have to suffer—there are some effective home remedies and preventive measures you can take to keep this bug away. In today’s post, we will discuss some of those so you can enjoy your holidays to the fullest while being in top health.
First, here are some tips to prevent you from getting the flu:
- Practice good hand hygiene
The flu virus spreads through respiratory droplets and by touching contaminated surfaces. Good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of the virus. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- Consider wearing a mask when traveling and going to crowded places.
Although it might sound like too much of a hassle, wearing a mask can significantly reduce the chance of catching the flu virus. It works the other way around too—wearing a mask when you’re down with the flu prevents the virus spreading to other people from you.
- It’s also a good idea to get your flu shot.
Getting a flu vaccine is a proactive step in preventing influenza. The vaccine boosts your immunity against the flu virus, reducing the risk of infection. It also reduces the severity of symptoms if you do get sick. Schedule your flu shot well in advance of holiday gatherings to ensure optimal protection.
Here are some natural remedies that will help relieve your flu symptoms:
- Stay well hydrated.
Adequate hydration is crucial for recovery. Warm fluids such as herbal teas, clear broths, and water with lemon can help soothe a sore throat and keep you hydrated. These fluids will keep your nose and mouth moist, thus helping you to loosen up mucus and phlegm buildup in your respiratory system.
- Rest well and get a good night’s sleep.
One of the most effective natural remedies for the flu is adequate rest and sleep. Allow your body the time it needs to recover by getting plenty of sleep and taking breaks when necessary. Sleep is a powerful tool in supporting your immune system and can significantly reduce the duration and severity of flu symptoms.
- Gargle with salt water.
Using a saltwater gargle is a simple and effective home remedy that can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the flu, particularly sore throat and nasal congestion. Salt water gargling works by creating a salty environment that helps to soothe a sore throat, reduce inflammation, and temporarily alleviate discomfort. Additionally, it can help break down mucus, providing relief from nasal congestion and postnasal drip. However, make sure that your saltwater solution is not too hot or too salty to avoid any irritations.
- Try some herbal remedies.
Herbal remedies such as ginger, lemon, honey, and turmeric have been traditionally used to relieve flu symptoms. These supplements are known for their immune-boosting properties and can be found in various forms, including teas, tinctures, and capsules.
Although flu can be challenging during the holidays, you can ensure a joyful celebration by adopting these preventive measures and natural remedies. Whether it's through vaccinations, good hygiene practices, or the healing power of rest and herbal remedies, taking proactive steps will contribute to a healthier, happier holiday season for everyone. Stay informed, prioritize well-being, and embrace the festivities with confidence.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year filled with an abundance of health!
 “Key Facts About Influenza (Flu) | CDC.” https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/keyfacts.htm
 “Flu (Influenza) - Symptoms and Causes.” https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/flu-influenza